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The Silent Killer

February 5, 2014


Hypertension aka high blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of the blood against your artery walls is high enough that it may eventually cause health problems, such as heart disease. It is often called the silent killer because it often has no warning signs or symptoms, and many people don’t realize they have it. Because of this, it is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly. A blood pressure under 120/80 is considered good and once you hit 140/90 you are considered to have high blood pressure. Hypertension is just like those gateway drugs that lead to harsher drugs; he continued presence can lead to more severe problems like stroke, kidney damage, erectile dysfunction, vision loss, angina, and fluid in the lungs to name a few. Despite all the bad things about this condition, it is classified as lifestyle disease because it is for the most part preventable. The CDC estimates that 1 in 3 Americans have hypertension with an annual cost of $50,000,000,000 (50 billion) in medical expenses and lost productivity with those numbers set to rise in the coming decades.

Hypertension can be managed and prevented in a number of ways. One of the most effective ways is diet modification; namely the DASH diet. The DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension and works by lowering your sodium intake to 1500-2300 milligrams per day. This is a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and complex carbs. This combined with lower amounts of processed foods and alcoholic beverages creates a diet that reduces the risks of hypertension.  Other ways to manage or prevent hypertension are exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing stress levels

 Hypertension is a lifestyle disease that can cause serious long term problems if not kept in check. Follow these tips and get regular checkups to keep this preventable disease at bay. 


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